Friday, January 8, 2010

Psst. Come over here.

Distillation by Alembic, 1910

Where?  The Alembic Bar.  They are located at 1725 Haight Street in San Francisco.  I've been curious about this place since reading an Edible SF article about them in early 2008.  Luckily, my friend Joen had a birthday that required celebration during the same month The Alembic Bar began serving lunch.

Although rumor has it this place fills to capacity each evening, it seems most people are unaware of their new lunch service.  We practically had the bar to ourselves.  This was a pleasant surprise after reading a few unpleasant comments on yelp such as ...A small blonde waitress approached us and announced, "We don't pack 'em in here. It's not our style.  Leave and we can call you if we have room for you later." and ...the bartenders were aloof, yet gracious enough to eventually pour our drinks. I've noticed a lot more establishments in SF adopting this idea they seem to think is fashionable that the customers should be treated like garbage.

We did not experience anything of the sort.  Lately, I tend to feel a little hesitant when a bar or restaurant has recently surged in popularity, produced a tasteful website, and eloquently described all that they have to offer their clientele.  I just don't like being disappointed.  I wasn't.  Our lunch was fabulous.

My beverage, well, I actually drank two, was one of the best drinks I've ever tasted.  It was called a Southern Exposure.  When it arrived at our table, I just had to stop and look at it for a while.  It was a beautiful deep yet muted green color and served in a darling little glass.  The Southern Exposure combines junipero gin, fresh mint, lime juice, a touch of sugar and a little shot of celery juice.  Exquisite.

For lunch I ordered the Slow Poached Egg and oh my, it was heavenly!  The most beautiful yolk I've ever seen and it tasted as good as it looked.  This pristine poached egg rested on top of a nice thick slice of toasted brioche, a layer of thinly shredded Brussels sprouts, a sprinkle of Parmesan, and just a hint of bacon marmalade.  Seriously spectacular.

So don't tell everyone you know, but do make your way over to The Alembic Bar for lunch before word gets out.  You understand, I'd still like to be able to find a table when I return for my Southern Exposure + Slow Poached Egg fix.


  1. sounds so delish - we need a place like that in montgomery (alabama) that would happen? LOL but it's nice to dream

  2. Oh, both drink and dish sound like the most delicously thoughtful combinations. I'm rather envious.

  3. Mmmmh... That sounds delectable and perfectly beautiful. It has been dutifully added to the list of places to visit when in SF...


  4. Char, It was delish. Perhaps opening this much-needed place in Montgomery will be your next adventure!

    Lickedspoon, Yes yes, it was wonderful, but you pull together some pretty envious dishes yourself. I know...I've seen those photographs on your blog.

    Maria, You are correct, we had such a nice time, but when I think of lunch with Maria, I think of Boulette's Larder. I just see you there. When you make it to SF, I'd love to treat you to lunch at Boulette's.

  5. Oh, I love a good poached egg. And with brussel sprouts? Yum!

    Thanks for stopping by & commenting on my blog about Firehouse restaurant in Portland. My blog is quite new, but I'll be adding more to it, especially about places I like to eat & imbibe at. Or feel free to ask for suggestions for your trip to Portland - there's about a million great places to try here.

  6. Maija, It certainly was yum. Congratulations on your new blog. I really enjoyed your Firehouse post and look forward to reading more.

  7. It sounds fabulous. Just one more reason why I wish I could go to San Francisco.

    Yes, sometimes it's better not to listen to yelp.

  8. Mary-Laure, If I started telling you about the lunch I had at Serpentine yesterday, well, you just might hop on a plane.

  9. I *heart* the Alembic. I was in SF with a friend last October and we 'discovered' the spot for ourselves. The unusual yet somehow familiar perfect cocktails, simple beautiful food. When ever we're at a loss for somewhere to hang in our hometown, we sigh and say, "I want an Alembic!".

  10. Heidi, I'm right there with you. They strike such a nice balance at Alembic. I only wish it was a little closer to my apartment.